This species is endemic to the general Sinharaja region of southwestern Sri Lanka, and has been recorded from 510-1,270 m asl. It occurs in three threat-defined locations that include 1) Morningside Forest Reserve, 1) Handapan Ella Plains, and 3) the Sinharaja World Heritage Site (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005). These locations receive different levels of protection; therefore, the threat of habitat loss varies among them. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 124 km2, which is also taken as a proxy for area of occupancy (AOO) on the basis that the species is a habitat specialist and confined to forest-associated habitat within an unsuitable land-use matrix.
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits closed-canopy rainforest habitats and cardamom plantations within the forest. Adult males have been observed calling at night while perched on ferns, 0.3-1.0 m above ground (Manamendra-Arachchi and Pethiyagoda 2005). It breeds by direct development and is not dependent on water.
It is a common species in suitable habitat. A recent survey produced observations of 30 individuals over a two-hour period (M. Meegaskumbura pers. comm. 2014). There are no data to suggest population declines.
It is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural encroachment (especially for tea and cardamom cultivation), fires, illegal gemstone mining and logging, and human settlement (Surasinghe and Jayaratne 2006). It is also at risk from agrochemical pollution.
It is found in the Sinharaja World Heritage Site (the largest remnant of Sri Lanka's forests), and the Morningside Forest Reserve bordering the eastern margin of the World Heritage Site. Morningside receives some level of government protection, but is not an official conservation area (Janzen and Bopage 2011, R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). While the government has purchased much of the land around Morningside, there is still pressure from land use within the reserve; a tea/cardamom plantation operates at the centre of the reserve and there is illegal clearing of understory to establish small parcels for cardamom cultivation (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). There is need for improved protection of the area and incorporation of Morningside into the contiguous Sinharaja World Heritage Site would help prevent future loss of remaining forest habitat (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2014). Research is needed to better understand its life history, population status and current threats.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 124 km2, which is also taken as a proxy for area of occupancy (AOO) on the basis that the species is a habitat specialist and confined to forest-associated habitat within an unsuitable land-use matrix. It is considered to occur in three threat-defined locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in southwestern Sri Lanka.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Pseudophilautus silvaticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T58933A60796330. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T58933A60796330.en .Downloaded on 14 November 2018